What's your full name?

Jonathan Arthur Ashley

Why do you participate in Shelter?

When writing a script, there’s no better resource than talented actors who will read your words aloud. It’s an exceptionally talented and supportive group. Working with them makes me a better writer and director, and I simply like being around them.

You’ve worked for The Shelter as a writer, director, actor and designer. You're also a filmmaker and animator. How do you identify yourself as an artist?

I’m a storyteller. Writing, animation, film, etc., are all ways to create characters, and place them in situations that will bring them to life.

What fuels you artistically?

It’s basically a selfish impulse. Sometimes I get the urge to see a particular image or indulge in a particular fantasy. And if it doesn’t exist yet, it falls to me to try to create it.

Why do you connect to the theatrical art form?

While a filmmaker can rely on editing to make a scene work dramatically, on stage the actors have to sustain that tension independently, and continuously. So, the director and actors have to work together to find what makes the scene tick. I enjoy that collaboration.

Where did you get the idea for LILY & KOSMO?

For Christmas when I was 7, my Mom (or maybe Santa) gave me a cassette of Superman radio serials from the 1940s, complete with live on-air commercials for Kellogg’s Pep. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on classic radio programs. And I’ve also always loved the story of Peter Pan. The collision of these two inspirations was, perhaps, inevitable.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Within five years, I hope to walk into a toy store and buy a 3.75″ posable plastic Kosmo Kidd action figure. But I’ll be satisfied if I’m at a point where the interest generated by one project leads to the inception of the next, whether it’s a play, a film, or some other form. Above all, I want to keep making stories with my friends.